The Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia takes note of the reporting by online news portal The Independent SG (theindependent.sg) on the 31st August 2017 regarding a Singaporean man who died following injury sustained from a Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) in Johor Bahru. Condolence to the family and friends of the deceased for the demise of this young gentlemen. However, the MOH would like to stress that there were no delay or demand for payment before treatment of this gentleman by Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) Johor Bahru.
In their article, theindependent.sg claimed that the deceased, a 25-year old Singaporean sustained critical injuries following that MVA, and alleged that there was a slow respond time by the ambulance from HSA up to 30 minutes. From the ambulance service records, it was noted that the emergency call was made at 2:57 AM on the 25th August 2017. The ambulance left HSA at 2:59 AM, arrived at the scene at 3:10 AM and departed from the scene with the patient at 3:15 AM. Kudos to the ambulance call services for a very timely response, with despatch time of two (2) minutes and response time of 13 minutes.
In view of his critical condition, the Singaporean man was admitted to the Red Zone upon arrival at the Emergency Department. Immediately, the emergency treatment as per the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) protocol was continued, which was already initiated by the ambulance team earlier. The Emergency Department team also initiated the necessary imaging (primary survey X-rays, CT-scan of brain, cervical and thorax), treatment (including intubation) and referral to the relevant team in a very timely and professional manner, without asking for any deposit since this is an emergency case. This is in line with the MOH policy as per the MOH Secretary General circular dated 4th March 2015 regarding deposit payment for foreigners in MOH hospitals.
In view of the injury to his brain, the patient was referred to Neurosurgery team, and urgent decompressive craniectomy plus removal of clot and intracranial pressure monitoring was planned without demand for any deposit payment. Subsequent to this, the family members arrived, and only then they were requested to make deposit payment as per protocol for foreigner patient; but it is important to note that the emergency imaging and treatments required were not withheld or delayed. However the family members opted for discharge at own risk (AOR discharge) and arranged for admission to a hospital in Singapore after understanding the risk involved of further delaying the surgery.
The MOH urges all relevant parties to be responsible in reporting and further commenting, as releasing inaccurate information and baseless statement can lead to misunderstanding and disrupt the harmony. The MOH has always valued life and does it utmost best to treat any patient, regardless of their background or nationality. This is in line with MOH’s ethos and corporate culture of “Caring, Professionalism and Teamwork”.
“We’re Ready to Help”
DATUK DR. NOOR HISHAM ABDULLAH
DIRECTOR GENERAL OF HEALTH MALAYSIA
1st September 2017